With a slew of injuries and an aging roster, the New York Yankees are looking to add a little extra pop into the lineup by reportedly acquiring outfielder Vernon Wells via a trade with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. ESPN's Wallace Matthews reported the move, citing "two sources who requested anonymity."
UPDATE: Sunday, March 24, at 8:09 p.m. ET by Dan Talintyre
ESPN's Buster Olney reported the financial details of Wells' contract:
Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN
Sources say the Yankees' share of the Vernon Wells contract will be about $13 million over the last two years of his deal.2013-3-24 23:16:43
---End of update---
According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Wells has already said his goodbyes:
Mike DiGiovanna @MikeDiGiovanna
#Angels OF Vernon Wells has said his goodbyes. "I have some good friends in there, great teammates. Goodbyes are never easy."2013-3-24 20:50:13
Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com mentions the deal will not be considered official until Monday at the earliest, as the commissioner's office must approve the acquisition.
With the possibility that Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter will all start the season on the disabled list, the Yankees were in danger of coming into 2013 with their weakest lineup in years.
Some may question whether the addition of Wells will really remedy that ailment. Wells hit .230 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI in 77 games last year, and he was the Angels' fourth outfielder coming into spring training this year.
He was relatively ineffective in 2011 as well, hitting a paltry .218, though he did add 25 home runs and 66 RBI. He has certainly never come close to living up to the seven-year, $126 million extension he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2006, a deal that has two years and $42 million remaining.
In other words, he was expendable this season. Paying a fourth outfielder and an occasional designated hitter that amount of money for the production Wells offers simply isn't worth it.
It does show how desperate the Yankees are to add offense—though the fact that the Angels will reportedly send a lot of cash along with Wells certainly helps.
New York is in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and in the brutal AL East, only a wild-card berth might be available. The Toronto Blue Jays drastically improved in the offseason, while the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles have young, talented rosters.
If Wells can help the Yankees stay afloat until players like Granderson and Teixeira return, he'll be well worth the investment.
But for a Yankees team that once was one of the main players in free agency each season, a stopgap trade in spring training for an underwhelming, overpaid player like Wells seems extremely out of character.
Desperation isn't a trait baseball fans often associate with the team, but it seems apt this spring.